Friday, July 22, 2005
Though England is some 5,000 miles away from us, the U.S. Govt. will use what happened their, to invade our privacy. It's for a good cause I guess, because if a bomb was to go off in our subway and the Govt. wasn't checking people, they probably would have hundreds of lawsuits. So be extremely careful with what you carry in your bags, because the NYPD are not only looking for bombs and weapons!
Police to Check Bags on NYC Subways NEW YORK 2005, 07 21
Police will begin random searches of bags and packages carried by people entering city subways, officials announced Thursday after a new series of bomb attacks in London.
Passengers carrying bags will be selected at random before they pass through turnstiles, and those who refuse to be searched won't be allowed to ride, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
"We just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Are they intrusive? Yes, a little bit. But we are trying to find that right balance.
" The announcement drew complaints from civil liberties advocates in a city where an estimated 4.5 million passengers ride the subway on an average weekday. The system has more than 468 subway stations _ most with multiple entrances _ and the flood of commuters hurrying in and out of stations during rush hour can be overwhelming.
Kelly stressed that officers posted at subway entrances would not engage in racial profiling, and that passengers are free to "turn around and leave." He also downplayed the possibility of bottlenecks at subway entrances.
Officials declined to specify how frequently the checks would occur. The inspections are scheduled to be in place by rush hour on Friday. Authorities said bus and commuter train passengers will also be checked.
William K. Williams, a 56-year-old Manhattan resident who rides the train every day, said such security measures _ while inconvenient _ are a way of life now.
"It doesn't bother me _ I mean, the whole state of things bothers me _ but it's just part and parcel of the world we live in," said Williams, who was carrying a briefcase outside the Brooklyn Bridge station of the subway.
Similar types of random searches of subway passengers have prompted criticism from civil liberties groups in other cities, and in some cases have been challenged in court. The New York Civil Liberties Union said the searches violate basic rights and will inconvenience New Yorkers, but the group stopped short of threatening a legal challenge.
"The NYPD can and should investigate any suspicious activity, but the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from conducting searches where there is no suspicion of criminal activity," executive director Donna Lieberman said.
Kelly said passengers selected for searches will be approached by officers, who will ask them what they are carrying, and request them to open their bags. If an officer looking for explosives finds some other form of contraband, police said that person would be subject to arrest.
Andrew Morris, a 57-year-old New Yorker who had a large bag slung over his shoulder Thursday, said he would consent to a search if asked, but added that the extra security measures are essentially useless. "I think these terrorists go where it's easiest to go, so if you make it hard on the subway, they'll go where we're weak," Morris said.
Williams predicted the new searches would frustrate New Yorkers, not exactly known for their patience. "Sometimes you need to get to an appointment, you're running late and a cop stops you to delay you even further? That's going to create a mess," he said.
In Boston, additional police officers were added at downtown subway stations after the latest round of London explosions, and Gov. Mitt Romney boarded a subway to reassure residents that the city's transit system is safe.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press.
11/15/04 11/20/04 11/26/04 11/30/04 12/03/04 12/04/04 12/11/04 12/18/04 12/20/04 12/22/04 12/26/04 12/31/04 01/06/05 01/08/05 01/12/05 01/19/05 01/21/05 01/22/05 01/26/05 02/04/05 02/05/05 02/09/05 02/12/05 02/14/05 02/16/05 02/20/05 02/23/05 02/25/05 03/02/05 03/19/05 03/24/05 04/02/05 04/15/05 04/21/05 04/23/05 04/25/05 05/02/05 05/05/05 05/12/05 05/14/05 05/17/05 05/30/05 06/03/05 06/13/05 06/23/05 06/29/05 06/30/05 07/14/05 07/22/05 07/27/05 07/28/05 08/12/05 08/15/05 08/16/05 08/23/05 08/24/05 09/01/05 09/02/05 09/08/05 09/17/05 09/20/05 09/22/05 09/23/05 09/27/05 10/21/05